Лев Давидович Троцкий - Сочинения (Lev Davidovich Trotsky - Collected works) [1923-1927]
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The Russian language
edition of Trotsky's Sochineniia [Сочинения = Collected
works] remains one of the main primary sources of Trotsky research,
an impressive editorial venture. Work on this edition began in 1923
and from 1924 to 1927 altogether 12 volumes (not numbered in
sequence, and some consisting of 2 parts) were published in Moscow
and/or Leningrad by the Soviet Gosudarstvennoe Izdadel'stvo —
Gosizdat [State Publishing House]. While some of the published
volumes chiefly contain wide-known material which is available in
book format elsewhere, too (in Russian language as well as in
translation), other volumes contain a considerable amount of lesser
known articles, speeches, reports etc. from various, often
hard-to-find, sources and were assembled thematically in Sochineniia
for the first time.
A good deal of those
articles were originally published anonymously or under pseudonym and
was identified in Sochineniia as to authorship. Trotsky himself
assisted with the assembling and editing of the material which are
given with their exact original date of appearance and with their
In 1927 however, the
Sochineniia publishing project was suspended when Trotsky was
definitively defeated in the factional struggles of the CPSU and
Comintern and eventually was expelled from the CPSU (1927), then
banished to Alma Ata (1928) and eventually exiled to Turkey (1929).
Thus, only those 12 volumes (tom) listed here (3 of them issued in
two parts, thus summing up to a total of 15 volumes, organized in six
Roman numbered series, altogether some 8.000 pages) were factually
As a matter of fact,
Trotsky's Sochineniia must be regarded as extremely rare; there is
only a very limited number of libraries that hold a complete set of
the original volumes published in the USSR between 1924 and 1927,
while a few other libraries are in possession of some scattered
volumes only. Some libraries, however, are in possession at least of
a reprint edition (no longer available) which was produced by Bell &
Howell (Cleveland, Ohio) in 1963.
Contents of the
Volume II (issued in
two parts) contains Trotsky's writings about the 1905 Russian
revolution and the critical phase preceding it. Most of the articles
assembled in this volume were originally written between 1904 and
1909 and were also published in Trotsky's collection titled 1905.
Volume III (issued
in two parts) deals with the revolutionary events of the crucial year
1917. Most of the writings, speeches etc. are dating from 1917,
showing Trotsky as an outstanding agitator, orator etc. When the
first part of volume III went to press in autumn of 1924, Trotsky
added his polemical essay 1917 — Uroki Oktiabria [1917 — The
lessons of October], a vitriolic attack on his then inner-party
opponents, as author's introduction; thus launching or provoking a
crisis within the party leadership which eventually would end in the
defeat of the Left Opposition and thus of Trotsky himself.
Volume IV chiefly
consists of writings from 1901 to 1914 which were originally
published in the Russian, European and émigré press, thematically
focusing on Russian politics and events. It contains a considerable
number of articles which Trotsky had contributed to Vostochnoe
Obozrenie, Iskra and to the Vienna Pravda.
Volume VI is a
compilation of Trotsky's articles on the Balkan wars (1908-1913),
many of them originally appearing in Kievskaia Mysl' and Vienna
Volume VIII mainly
contains sketches of contemporary political figures originally
published, among others, in Kievskaia Mysl', Nashe Slovo, and Nachalo
between 1908 and 1925.
Volume IX chiefly
consists of writings which also appeared in Trotsky's collection
Voina i revoliutsiia (1923) and which were written between 1914 and
1917 on the subject of European diplomacy and politics and the First
World War; many items originally appeared in Nashe Slovo (Paris) and
Novyi mir (New York).
Volume XII assembles
writings from the early 1920s about problems derived from the
experiences of the Russian revolution of 1917 and its aftermath,
among them Mezhdu imperializmom i revoliutsiei (1922), Novaia
ekonomicheskaia politika sovetskoi Rossii i perspektivy mirovoi
revoliutsii (1922) and last not least Trotsky's vitriolic polemic
against Kautsky, Terrorizm i kommunizm (1920).
Volume XIII compiles
Trotsky's writings, speeches, and reports about the attempts to build
up a new, Communist International; this volume is almost identical
with the collection Piat let Kominterna which has been translated,
Volume XV reflects
Trotsky's evolving ideas concerning the economic reconstruction of
the young soviet republic (1919-1920), among them his writings and
speeches on the so-called militarization of labour and on economic
planning. In this volume many items from Pravda and from other
official party and government publications have been reproduced,
while other items have been taken from originally confidential party
Volume XVII consists
of two parts; they chiefly contain writings, speeches and other
documents written during the years of the civil war (1918-1921) when
Trotsky was creator and chief of the Red Army. An almost identical
compilation is Trotsky's Kak vooruzhalas revoliutsiia [How the
Volume XX assembles
writings from 1901-1902 and from 1908-1914 about literary, aesthetic
and cultural subjects; most of these writings are represented, too,
in Trotsky's famous collection Literatura i revoliutsiia (1924).
Volume XXI contains
items on questions of literary criticism, culture, science and
education written during 1923 and 1925.
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